Hurricanes are a part of life in the Cayman Islands. Having a hurricane preparedness plan for your office is essential to protecting your employees and business. Safeguarding important documents, computers, and furniture is good practice. What’s more, having a Disaster Recovery plan for your company’s data is a vital step toward maintaining business continuity in the event of a Hurricane.
Your hurricane plan should outline specific tasks for designated employees and department heads. Train each member of your team to know their responsibilities so your company can bounce back after a major weather event. Also have a disaster supply kit on hand, with an inventory of everything you’ll need from cleaning supplies and flashlights to non-perishable foods and eating utensils. Make sure your kit is kept separately from regular supplies you might have on hand to ensure you have enough of what’s needed in the event of a storm.
What to do before a hurricane:
- Know where your closest hurricane shelters are and plan an evacuation route. Allot additional travel time for delays.
- Prepare employees and determine who will be responsible for specific actions during and after a hurricane
- Update employee contact information and distribute to department heads
- Create a written plan and make it accessible to all employees, possibly via company intranet.
- Outline specific tasks to protect your employees and property.
- Designate employees to carry out specific tasks in preparation for a storm
- Make hurricane preparedness a part of staff on-boarding, and hold refresher sessions before hurricane season starts
- Scan important hard copies of documents and create digital backups
- Have a disaster recovery plan for all your company data including contacts, emails, accounting statements, insurance documents and customer data
- Put a disaster supply kit together. Include items like first aid kits, batteries, drinking water, and cleaning supplies. For a complete checklist of items for your hurricane kit, see our hurricane preparedness guide or visit caymanprepared.ky.
- Coordinate with property management on a plan for boarding/shuttering windows, bracing doors, and preventing water incursion on your property. Having a plan will ensure tasks are completed with time to spare before the storm
What to do during a hurricane watch or warning:
- Monitor for information about the storm. With power likely to be disrupted, a battery-powered radio is essential.
- Make sure that all important documents are up to date and backed up
- Ensure your supply kit is properly stocked and kept high and dry.
- Relocate valuable items, place removable drives in waterproof containers and store in a high spot.
- Sandbag entries and areas subject to flooding
- Shutter/board windows and brace doors
- Fill vehicles and backup generators with fuel and ensure they are in good usable shape
- Charge all batteries including cell phones and mobile power packs
- If your building will be used to ride out the storm, ensure people are sheltered in interior rooms away from exterior walls and windows.
- If you are to evacuate the building, ensure all employees do so before routes become impassable
After the storm:
- Check in with employees using the contact list you created prior to the storm
- Listen to local officials for updates
- When it’s safe to do so, photograph property damage to help with insurance claims
- Report damage to your insurance company
- If you’ve been evacuated, return home only when it is deemed safe